Messiah on the Move Traveling Jesus Doll Shows Preschoolers God Is Everywhere
Williams, Amy E., Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Amy E. Williams Daily Herald Correspondent
The students could tell he'd been so loved and well taken care of.
He had a new homemade "VeggieTales" blanket to snuggle with when he needed a nap.
He wore a fur poncho and snow boots to keep him toasty warm on his journey to Alaska.
And he sported fashionable sunglasses for his jaunt to the Sunshine State.
Though they were thrilled with all of the new clothes and pictures he came home with, they were most happy that he was back home with them.
Just a couple of months ago the students at Faith Community Church Preschool in Huntley had wrapped up their stuffed Jesus doll and sent him on a cross-country trip. They packed him lovingly in a box with a passport, the school's signature T-shirt and pictures to remind him of home.
After traveling thousands of miles and visiting 10 different Christian preschools across the country, the Jesus doll finally returned to their doorstep in Huntley this month.
"He just flew away and came back after he flew around the world, and I was so excited because I missed Jesus," 4-year-old Lindsay Spring of Algonquin said.
The school sent the Jesus doll on his journey, hoping to share their love for Jesus with other children across the country.
The journey also was part of Faith Community's mission to raise a spiritual child.
When the school first purchased the Jesus doll, the teachers would use him to say that God is "all around us," said Michelle Sullivan, preschool director.
But the students had a little trouble with that concept. They would look over their shoulders and try to see where he was, and how he could be all around them, Sullivan said.
So they came up with a new way to reinforce the concept, and decided to send the doll all around the country, while still keeping him close in their hearts.
While still on his journey, the Jesus doll would send letters back to the students, telling them he'd seen the Smoky Mountains or met some cute new kids - just like the ones he'd left back home.
The letters were fun to read, but the kids were the happiest when the Jesus doll himself finally came back home.
They all gathered in the chapel to greet him, and one by one took turns pulling what he brought home out of his box.
Once the students had unpacked everything, Sullivan asked them who sent Jesus on his journey - who started his adventure.
"We did," they shouted. …